The dermatologist’s guide to taking care of your skin and hair during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful time for a woman, but it is also marked by some bodily changes—that, more often than not, affect the skin and hair. This is how you can keep them at bay, according to a dermatologist.

how does pregnancy affect your skin
Take care of your skin and hair, while nurturing the life inside you. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Rinky Kapoor Published on: 17 September 2020, 17:29 pm IST
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Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a women’s life. As her body gets ready to nurture and welcome a new life, her skin, hair and even mood changes rapidly. Some women hardly notice any change in their skin or hair throughout their pregnancy—but for most women dark circles, pigmentation, chapped lips, dull skin, brown patches on skin, stretch marks, acne, spider veins, varicose veins, cracked heels, and changes in nail and hair growth are very common problems.  In some cases, women also experience itchy skin and small red bumps on the skin around abdomen and thighs.

Every woman’s body reacts differently to the change in hormones that occur during and post pregnancy. Some notice faster growth in nails, and for others their nails grow brittle and break. Similarly, many women also notice thicker hair growth around their abdomen, thighs, hands and legs. Most of these problems are temporary and they go away after a few months of delivery. But while they are there they can be uncomfortable and cause irritation and stress, which is not good for the baby.

Before pregnancy booking a high-end dermatology treatment would have been the perfect solution for getting rid of the problems; however during pregnancy using chemicals on the skin and hair and even ingesting them is not advised. The best way is to go to a good dermatologist and follow the skin and hair care advice they give and embrace the natural remedies.

miscarriage
You read it right, food has nothing to do with miscarriage. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are some to start with:

This is how you can take care of your skin during pregnancy
Being vigilant about skin care during pregnancy will help you get rid of the dark spots, spider veins, stretch marks, acne and acne marks more quickly post pregnancy. Here is what you can do:

  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat every time you are outside. This will help prevent the dark spots and protect the skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Do not use products that contain salicylic acid/or retinoid, isotretinoin and oral tetracycline as they can cause birth defects in the baby.
  • Switch to non-comedogenic and fragrance free products in makeup and skin care.
  • Remove your makeup every night before going to bed

Also, watch:

  • Keep the skin around abdomen, thighs, and hips moisturised to avoid getting stretch marks.
  • Wash your face with lukewarm water twice a day
  • Do not over scrub, instead use gently exfoliator or soft wash cloth
  • Do not scratch, squeeze, or pull on any growth on the skin.
  • Relax and don’t take stress
  • Change your pillowcases and towels frequently

This is how you can take care of your hair during pregnancy
The extra hormones that come into the play in your body during pregnancy can disrupt the natural hair cycle and elongate the active phase giving the appearance of thicker hair. In some women, hair become curly during pregnancy, and in some the texture of hair changes entirely.

This happens because pregnancy hormones alter the shape of the hair follicle. Therefore before you apply anything to your hair you need to remember that it can get in the blood stream and affect the baby. Here is a list of dos and don’ts for hair care during pregnancy:

  • Take a break from hair styling during pregnancy. This means giving up on dyeing, highlights, perming, and straightening treatments. Just let your hair be and grow naturally.
  • Avoid using any chemicals on the scalp. Don’t use over the counter hair treatments such as minoxidil during or post pregnancy.
  • Opt for tip highlights or natural dyes, if you must.
  • Keep you regular hair care routines of shampoo and conditioning as before.

Also, watch:

  • However if you are using any prescription shampoos then consult your doctor about their suitability.
  • Don’t comb your hair when wet and avoid tight hair styles
  • Wash your hair regularly especially if you have an oily scalp

Pregnancy is the time to relax, destress, and enjoy the little wonders of life. By keeping a regular and healthy routine, you will be making easier for yourself doing the post pregnancy time as well.

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About the Author
Dr Rinky Kapoor Dr Rinky Kapoor

Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics

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